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Case Study Leica Camera AG

 

Industry: optical industry

Headquarters: Solms (Germany)

Employees: about 1,300

 

Project: implementation of Business Intelligence-capable consolidation software, which is user-friendly and compatible, document book entries and grow with ever more complex structures of Leica


Modules: LucaNet.Financial Consolidation, LucaNet.Planner, LucaNet.Importer

 

The consolidation software, which had been used by Leica Camera AG so far, was outdated and very laborious to operate, changes in the system could not be reproduced. The new solution had to be modern, compatible with the operating system and first of all, Business Intelligence-capable.

Leica stands for high technology made in Germany. And it is a part of the vision culture. The company emerged in 1986 from Ernst Leitz Wetzlar GmbH, the successor company of the Optical Institute which had been founded by Carl Kellner in 1849. The 35 mm format film was established with the first 35 mm format film camera constructed in 1913, and it made Leica famous in the whole world.

The rapid growth in recent years and the accompanying increased accounting requirements have shown that the existing consolidation software was no longer sufficient. It was laborious to operate, lacked transparency and was not reliable for auditing. The selection criteria for a software were quite clear: The new tool had to be user-friendly and compatible with the systems which would still be used at the company, had to document book entries and grow with ever more complex structures of Leica. Just after a few weeks the optimum solution had has been found at LucaNet. "Finally, a software with intuitive operation, good connection to SAP and clear documentation of book entries", says Uwe Lutz, Head of Finance Department at Leica Camera AG.

Direct access to SAP

Direct access to SAP was used to import data for the parent company.  Monthly balances per ledger account, statement of fixed assets and IC details were imported. According to Lutz, LucaNet coped well with data import. The comfortable import process must be especially emphasised here, the data were transferred directly from the source system and there was no need to process them further. This had already contributed to increased efficiency and time-savings in the consolidation as regards the imported partner information.

Quality improvement in many areas

The introduction of LucaNet not only had a positive impact on the considerably reduced time input for drawing up a financial statement, but it also greatly improved data quality, transparency and clarity. Thus, the data was now imported without errors and book entries could be reproduced to the document level.

The added value of LucaNet was also quickly and clearly noticeable in consolidation. Apart from already mentioned easy operation, the whole process was simplified by establishing booking principles and by traceability of consolidation entries. The consolidation is carried out according to IFRS, whereby a consolidation of a group with foreign subsidiaries takes place.

Among numerous consolidation assistants which the software offers, those for liabilities, expenses and revenue consolidation are mainly used overall and in pairs.

Planning and reporting at Leica

The budget process is centralised and controlled by headquarters. The subsidiaries deliver planning individually. On AG level all cost centre managers cooperate on planning.

Apart from turnover, material and investment, also cost centres and projects are planned. This takes place on the cost centres level at AG and on the company level at subsidiaries. For Leica, the greatest advantage of LucaNet lies in the creation of a planned balance sheet on the AG level with payment procedures and booking principles.

When all reporting requirements were met by LucaNet, the employees in charge could see that the potential of the software in this area was still not fully used. Hereby, not only ad-hoc reporting is an interesting factor itself at LucaNet, but also various possibilities to export data from LucaNet to different operating systems and also to MS Excel. This creates a possibility to process continually updated data in the relevant and meaningful form, and for example, create monthly specialised reports.


"It is quite simple for us: Information provides clarity. Clarity provides transparency. And transparency is the basis for trust. Therefore we have opted for LucaNet."

 

Uwe Lutz, Head of Finance Department
Leica Camera AG

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